Verizon And Google Announce Partnership


Verizon and Google issued a press release announcing their partnership on mobile and wireless products and services – namely Android – and held a webcast to discuss their plans moving forward. Some very interesting developments came from discussion as Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Head Android Andy Rubin explained what this meant for consumers and investors.

The bottom line:

  • 2 Verizon Android Phones are imminent
  • No gimping… Verizon plans to be 100% open (or as far to it as they can be)
  • Not just phones… multi-year roadmap suggests other types of devices

We already have 4 Verizon Android Phones in the rumor mill (Motorola Sholes, HTC Desire, HTC Passion, HTC Predator) so it sounds like we’ll see two of those this year and two of those next year if I had to guess. We can expect these announcements “in the next several weeks”. How about one of them this week, Verizon? Please?

Two things REALLY struck me as surprising/impressive during the webcast:

  1. Verizon’s dedication to openness
  2. Google’s unwavering support of Verizon

When asked whether or not Verizon Wireless would support/allow the Google Voice application, something Apple/AT&T blocked on the iPhone, McAdams had this to say:

“Yes we do. Either you have an open device or not. This will be open.”

Right on, Verizon. Right on.

I’m not sure if this is just typical PR bubbly, warm talk for the sake of it or whether there is some real substance behind it, but Eric Schmidt really stuck his neck out by calling the Verizon Wireless network “the best” in terms of reach, scalability and performance saying, “there is no question.”

Wow… it’s one thing to be supportive its another to say Verizon is hands down better than your primary Android launch carrier (T-Mobile) and another current partner on the verge of launching their first Android Phone (Sprint). I’ve always maintained Verizon has the best network… and I think that’s the overall American perception. But how will T-Mo and Sprint feel about this?

The announcement was preceded by this press release:

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Wireless and Google(TM) today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the Verizon Wireless network and the best of the Android(TM) open platform to deliver leading-edge mobile applications, services and devices. Both companies view this agreement as an opportunity to offer consumers an array of products that combine the speed of the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network with the flexibility of the Android mobile platform.

Integral to this agreement is a commitment by the companies to devote substantial resources to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly. The two industry leaders will create, market and distribute products and services, with Verizon Wireless also contributing the breadth of its nationwide distribution channels. Consumers will be able to purchase products resulting from the collaboration in Verizon Wireless retail and online stores.

Verizon Wireless and Google plan to co-develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with innovative applications from both parties as well as third-party developers. The family of Android phones on the Verizon Wireless network will come from leading handset manufacturers.

“The nation’s best wireless broadband network is a perfect complement to the innovation of Android-powered services and devices,” said Lowell McAdam, chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. “Together, we’ll work to deliver a compelling new experience to our customers.”

“The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the web from any location,” said Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer for Google. “Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the U.S.”

The agreement will come to fruition within the next few weeks as Verizon Wireless introduces Android-based handsets.

I couldn’t be more ready for this.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. “We can expect these announcements ‘in the next several weeks’. How about one of them this week, Verizon? Please?”

    bah, there’s the rub. at this point. no “release date” news is no news, in my opinion

  2. Verizon? No gimping? This sounds too good to be true. I’ve shed a few tears of joy and now I’m waiting for the other foot to fall.

  3. Okay, so they’ll support Google Voice, not bad. But I would be more interested in hearing if they answered the same about tethering.

  4. To quote Flounder from Animal House, “OH BOY THIS IS GREAT!”

  5. Oh thank god!!! *insert appropriate skepticism* …. Oh thank god!!

  6. Huge news. Now let’s see those phones.

  7. Huge news. Now lets see those phones.

  8. Great news Rob!

    \assumes the “wait and see” position.


  10. Yeah, when I was listening to this I was very impressed with Eric from Verizon with how dedicated he sounded to the fact that this would be an open phone(s). Google Voice support was a very strong statement in that direction as well. The other thing which excited me was the fact that they really seem to be getting behind this thing. It’s not like they are just throwing a couple phones out there, they were talking about roadmaps and entire lines of devices. The impression I got from their verbage was that Verizon was going to work with Google, Hardware companies, and software developers to roll out a kick ass Verizon Android I-Phone killer complete with custom apps and the whole experience. They didn’t come right out and say that… but this didn’t sound like “look we are putting out an Android phone!”. It sounded more like “ok… we all got together and worked on this… and we are going roll this out to kick ass and takes names”. :) At least that’s what it sounded like to me.

  11. No extra tethering fees on Verizon?! HAHA.. that’s pretty funny. It’s pretty amazing they even decided to go with Android at all and the fact that they are (at least saying) they will keep it open.

    But.. this is STILL Verizon we are talking about here. They will still nikel and dime you on services like that.. that’s how they run their business.

  12. That’s some highly spoken words from Eric Schmidt from a carrier that has yet to even put out an Android phone. If I were an exec at T-Mo I’d be pretty pissed.

    They launched the first phone when it was still highly buggy and marketed the shit out of it.

  13. The plans already exist, so correct me if I’m wrong.

    $30 a month unlimited Data
    $45 a month unlimited Data / tethering

    That’s how the billing is currently for other VZW phones.

    Subject to change, sure.

  14. Meh. Verizon has no coverage in my state at all… where I live, it’s either at&t or sprint – and I know it’s similar in multiple spots, with sprint edging at&t in some. Personally, I’m much more interested in the GSM version of the Sholes that’s been rumored. Probably for T-Mobile, but an at&t user can hope.

  15. @Geoff

    Yeah if I was the exec at T-Mo I would be too, but I think Android did just as much help for T-Mo as it did Google… I have no physical proof, but from what I have read a lot of people either jumped carriers to Tmo for an android phone or just upgraded their current, but even if it was just an upgrade, assuming they didn’t have a smartphone before then Tmo is making $20/mo or more just from the data plan.

  16. I’ll bet that if Google is willing to share the stage with Verizon that the phones will truly be open, and it makes sense from a business perspective. Having the weight of Google behind the phones helps Verizon sell phones, and attract iPhone and to a lesser degree Pre customers from AT&T and Sprint, respectively. They are giving up nickles and dimes in the add-on and services category in order to drive volume, market share, and new customers.

  17. Engadget has pictures of what seems to be a Verizon branded HTC Hero.

    Can some one please tell me why in God’s name T-Mo can’t use their sense (pun intended) and get with rest of the market to see what people really are looking for. In my estimation it was the sense UI that really put Android over the top.

  18. I am still very skeptical, just because a CEO says something doesn’t mean it is true. I would take the press release more heavily because it has been read by many company executives and is much more ambiguous which is to be expected before any sort of platform launch. They state “unique applications” will be developed by Google and VZW. Sounds like applications that VZW can lock you into and charge you to use. Now the third-party developers may sound nice but that doesn’t mean that Verizon won’t play gatekeeper. As far as we know, these phones may not be “Google Experience” so there is no requirement on VZW’s part to include the Android Marketplace.The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are the most worrying. The emphasis on pre-loaded apps is VZW’s attempt to market its services solely and probably means these are not “Google Experience” phones.

  19. Wonder if Google will be sharing any of their spectrum with Verizon for their 4G rollout. If they’re looking at phones, netbooks, etc, Verizon will need a pretty broad amount of spectrum or they’ll suffer AT&T’s iphone congestion.

  20. any information about whether android can be used on a pre-paid plan?

    $0.99/day for unlimited data = $30/mo and everything i could possibly want.

    hopefully there is a way to disable the default phone function so we don’t accidentally use phone and get slapped with $.40/minute

  21. “But how will T-Mo and Sprint feel about this?” really?

    Think maybe they’ll cry sad salty tears into pints of Haagan-Dasz?

    Giant corporations don’t feel anything.

  22. Well this definitely is interesting. It coincides right with the wife bitchin about leaving Verizon for T-mo. I was kinda thinking about giving ole V another chance and this certainly could make me lean a little further. But if they don’t lower those data plan prices its still gonna be a hard sell. If T-mo were to get something up to snuff with a Hero then it may be back to lights out for Verizon.

    Oh and with all the major carriers on the Android train Apple better figure out something quick for the IPhone lol.

  23. Verizon may be the largest wireless company in the U.S., but it doesn’t have a killer phone. That may be one of the reasons it decided to join forces with Google to create some brand new additions for the Android armada.

  24. No phones = no phones. See, easy. Announce the phones or there is no news.

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